Taxi’s Take the Spotlight

THE Taxi Industry has demanded the spotlight this week, with news that the fare will increase to N$10 as from the first of April coupled with the current strike – has turned up the heat.

An announcement was made last week by the chairperson of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association Pendapala Nakathingo, who said that the 10% increase for taxis fares, and long distance buses was agreed upon during negotiations with the Works and Transport Minister.

“This increase is long overdue”, he said, pointing out that the way the fuel prices have escalated this year alone, an increase on taxi in transport tariffs is clearly in line with the economic trend.

Meanwhile taxi drivers also staged a strike this week, leaving commuters stranded and having to make alternative arrangements to reach their destinations. The heavy rains have not helped the situation much, as people scurried to catch busses, catch lifts and pile into the few taxi’s that were still operating.

Taxi drivers are complaining about the high traffic penalties metered out by the Windhoek Police Traffic Department, and are flexing muscle to make a point of negotiation. The strike was still in full swing at the time of going to press.

However, the City of Windhoek has come forward to save the day, and Niilo Taapo has announced that a temporary arrangement to extend the operation of the municipal bus services will remain in place until the end of the strike.

He stated that said that the municipal busses will be extended daily from 0500 to 24h00 through the normal routes, and that City Police officers will be visible to control crowds and protect the taxi operators who have chosen not to partake in the strike.

Source : New Era